How to Boil Corn

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Boiled corn is one of the simplest, sweetest, tastiest things you can make. But what if you are a beginner in the process and don’t know exactly how to do it to get tender, but also a bit crunchy results? Here’s how to boil corn to perfection.

Ever since I was a little girl, I’ve loved boiled corn with a fiery passion. So much so that I await the corn season impatiently and then have it for weeks on end, so much of it. When I first moved out of the house, it was up to me to learn how to boil corn. And I didn’t know exactly how to do it.

Because when my mom was in charge of things at home, it always felt like the boiling took too long, almost forever, to happen. Time is relative and when the corn starts to smell, like home, in a way, it’s tough to keep waiting for the cooking process to be over. I have learned some patience in the past 10 years. And I’m here to impart my “wisdom” on how to boil corn that I have gathered over the years… and corn ears.

Boiling corn is quicker and less messy than grilling. You don’t need to prep too much or clean up too much afterward. It’s what I consider a perfect kitchen situation.

How to boil corn in 11 easy steps

1. Learn how to pick corn

The corn ears you buy need to have fresh, green husks, and a few yellow and dried out layers as possible. Until you cook it, keep it in the fridge.

2. Gather your equipment

A strainer is a must, to keep things less messy. And you’ll also need a large pot for the boiling. If you have tongs, then it’s great. If not, I sometimes use two forks for makeshift tongs. But that can backfire if you don’t have experience using them. Of course, the necessary include some corn ears and salt.

3. Prep the corn

Remove the corn husks with a quick movement. Then pick off the silk strings from the top of the corn ear.

4. Clean the corn

Rinse every corn ear thoroughly, under cool water, so that you remove all impurities.

5. Cut the corn (optional)

If you want and don’t have a very big pot, you can cut the ears in half. The corn needs to be completely submerged in water.

6. Boil water

Fill the pot with water and bring it to a boil.

7. Submerge the corn

Drop the ears in the pot with care.

8. Season

Add a tablespoon of salt. Because corn is starchy, the salt will amp up its flavor.

9. Lower the heat

Cover the pot and bring the water to a simmer.

10. Let the corn cook

Boil for about 5-6 minutes. My mother used to do this test to figure out if the corn is ready. Use a fork or any instrument you feel comfortable with to remove one corn kernel. Let it cool a little (or maybe blow on it) and then taste it. If it has the consistency you desire, remove the corn with tongs.

11. Serve immediately

Boiled corn tends to lose its tastiness after it’s gone cooler. And the kernels harden and dry up a little. So serve it as soon as possible, with some salt on top and maybe some butter.

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